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An independent jury led by District Chief Executive Claus Schick recently announced the regional winners of the 2010 ‘Best Of’ Wine Tourism awards in Mainz/Rheinhessen.

GWCThe award ceremony will take place on November 27 at the Electoral Palace in Mainz during the Ministry of Viticulture’s wine award celebration.

The ‘Best Of’ wine tourism awards are an initiative of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network (http://www.greatwinecapitals.com), nine global cities – Bilbao/Rioja, Bordeaux, Cape Town, Christchurch/South Island, Firenze, Mainz/Rheinhessen, Mendoza, Porto and San Francisco/Napa Valley – which share a key economic and cultural asset – their internationally renowned wine regions. The purpose of the network is to create and share global wine, business and tourism experiences.

The 2010 award for Accommodation goes to Peth Wine Estate (http://www.peth.de) in Flörsheim-Dalsheim. This architecturally interesting property combines Rheinhessen hospitality with numerous activities for the wine tourist.

The jury awarded the Architecture, Parks and Gardens prize to Weingut Domhof (http://www.weingut-domhof.de), Rheinhessen’s first wine aroma garden. The estate is also an events centre, specialising in private functions, including weddings.

The Rheinhessen Wine Vaults Syndicate (http://www.rheinhessen.de/rheinhessische_weingewoelbe.html) is the winner in the Art and Culture Category. Over 40 “cow chapels”, built in the middle of the 19th century in monastery refectorial style, converted into stylish wine bars and wine tasting parlours.

One of the most charming aspects of Rheinhessen is its many public gardens. The Syndicate of Rheinhessen Garden Guides (http://www.offene-gaerten-rheinhessen.de) will receive the Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences award for its programme of events that allow visitors to enjoy this cultural heritage.

For its loving restoration of an abandoned school building in the centre of Bingen-Kempton and installation of geothermal heating, the jury awarded the Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices prize to Weingut Hemmes (http://www.weingut-hemmes.de).

Jordan’s Untermühle (http://www.jordans-untermuehle.de), a hotel and restaurant in Köngerheim, was judged the best entry in the Wine Tourism Services category. This half-timbered property was already known in the 14th century as a water mill and combines traditional architecture and modern amenities.

The 2010 regional ‘Best Of’ prize for a Wine Tourism Restaurant was awarded to Kasematten, where excellent regional cuisine is matched perfectly with wines from renowned estates in Rheinhessen. The restaurant offers a rotating selection of wines and is well-known for the excellent advice provided by the staff.

The Mainz/Rheinhessen winners will compete with winners from the other member cities for the international ‘Best Of’ awards that will take place on November 5 in Bordeaux.

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